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Sheriff's Dep't IDs officers charged, fired in assault of juvenile inmate

A juvenile inmate at the Pima County jail was hit by a corrections officer in May. That CO faces two criminal aggravated assault charges and firing by the department, and another was fired for refusing to cooperate in the investigation — but Pima County Sheriff's Department officials didn't want the public to know who they are.

After TucsonSentinel.com reported that the department was refusing to identify the two, officials finally released their names Thursday night.

Bradley Kerby, a corrections officer since 2013, is charged in the assault, and the department has moved to fire him.

Garrett Andreatta, a CO for less than a year, was fired for not cooperating with the investigation.

The juvenile, who was handcuffed and awaiting medical attention following a fight, was struck twice by Kerby at the Pima County Adult Detention Complex, authorities said.

The department sent out a news release Thursday afternoon, outlining the case but omitting the identities of the two corrections officers. A spokesman for PCSD refused to provide that information, which is a public record, and didn't respond to a request to cite a statutory exemption that would allow it to be withheld.

"I cannot release that information as of right now," Deputy Cody Gress said.

Hours after this report was first published, the department released the identities of the two, without explanation of why they attempted to withhold their names from the public.

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According to Gress, on May 26, "a fight occurred in the housing unit where juvenile inmates are placed following arrests for violent crimes."

Corrections officers "separated the juveniles and escorted one of them to the medical facility for evaluation. The juvenile was handcuffed and was awaiting medical attention when he began making vulgar comments to staff members," Gress said.

One CO, later IDed as Kerby, "struck the juvenile two times without legal justification," he said.

Other COs were present, and one of them reported the incident to a supervisor, Gress said.

While several of the officers cooperated with the ensuing criminal and administrative investigations, one — later named as Andreatta — did not and was fired, he said. The officer was not initially identified by the department, nor did PCSD provide any information about when he was fired, or if he was appealing the termination.

The CO "who committed the assault was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation," he said.

That person, who was also not initially identified by PCSD, has been served with a criminal complaint and notice of termination from the department after the Pima County Attorney's Office determined that a prosecution should take place, Gress said.

Gress later named Kerby as the alleged assailant.

Pima County Corrections Officer Retirement Board records show that Kerby was added to the pension plan in 2013. Court records of the alleged assault by Kerby were not immediately available.

Kerby's social media profiles indicate he graduated from the University of Arizona law school in 1988, and worked as a corporate attorney for decades before becoming a corrections officer.

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Andreatta recently attended Pima Community College and Embry Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, playing on the soccer team and studying criminal justice.

"The juvenile inmate who was assaulted did not report the incident," Gress said. "We are proud that corrections officers witnessing this criminal misconduct came forward to report it. If not, this assault could have gone unreported and unaddressed."

PCSD did not release the name, age or gender of the victim of the assault, or provide the nature on any injuries to the juvenile inmate. Generally, it is TucsonSentinel.com policy to not publicly name underage victims of crimes.

"The Sheriff's Department immediately took aggressive action in launching both criminal and administrative investigations," he said. "We also took decisive and appropriate employment action to remove the employees who failed to live up to the public trust."

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1 comment on this story

Jul 1, 2017, 6:40 am
-2 +0

Smart ass punk made vulgar remarks to those in charge and got smacked up side the head.  What’s the problem?

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Bradley Kerby, left, and Garrett Andreatta